Venice
November 1660

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1931

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212-220

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'Venice: November 1660', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 32: 1659-1661 (1931), pp. 212-220. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90062 Date accessed: 29 July 2014.


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November 1660

Nov. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
229. Giacomo Quirini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The Catholic ambassadors report from England that before parliament rose it claimed that Jamaica and Dunkirk should be incorporated with the crown, but King Charles, in his goodness, always leaning to the benefit of Spain, succeeded prudently in getting the question postponed; although Don Luis told me plainly that to get the two places out of English hands they would have to pay many thousands of doubles. They express themselves as very pleased with the earl of Bristol, who supports and explains the claims of the Catholic king and who, in a well reasoned speech showed with prudent moderation that they were not conquests but usurpations of Cromwell and that they would serve as a pretext for further wars between the two countries of Spain and England.
Madrid, the 3rd November, 1660.
[Italian.]
Nov. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
230. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The reassembling of parliament in twelve days time will supply more subjects of interest than the Court at present affords, for nothing of consequence has happened this week. The regicides are executed, the disbanding of the army proceeds apace and most of the men are already paid off. When parliament meets the most interesting question will be the affair of the duke of York and the chancellor's daughter. It becomes increasingly clear that though the father is trying to hush the matter up, parliament means to deal with it, especially as the duke persists in denying the marriage. Meanwhile on Tuesday morning she gave birth to a child which she asserts to be the legitimate son of the duke.
On Sunday the earl of Winchelsea sailed from the Downs for Constantinople on a powerful ship of war, (fn. 1) to his embassy extraordinary to the Porte, which will afterwards be ordinary. I have tried to see that he goes well disposed to the interests of the most serene republic. Though he seems very well inclined I have learned secretly on good authority that he has pledged himself to the Turkey Company, on which he is entirely dependent, never to do anything at the Porte without their consent and approval, binding himself by a written promise to pay 10,000l. sterling if he ever infringes this article. So it is clear that though he may do something for your Serenity he will never venture to interfere without the good pleasure of the merchants, and they will never give him authority to negotiate anything for the relief of your Excellencies because of trade. Although Winchelsea received orders about it from the king he will never want to offend the merchants by whom he is paid and for whom he will do his utmost to increase trade. The instructions given him by the royal secretariat are to have at heart the interests of all Christian princes in general without mentioning any one in particular.
The Count of Soesson, ambassador extraordinary of the Most Christian reached England last Saturday. He made his entry into this city by water on Wednesday after dinner and to-day he is to have his first audience. He has many gentlemen of rank in his suite and a great number of coaches and liveries. The four Dutch ambassadors have also come, but remain incognito to hold back their offices until Soesson has performed his.
Yesterday the baron de Batteville had his first audience of the king, and he will now receive the usual visits. He informed the foreign ministers of his coming the day before yesterday. I performed the usual civilities and shall soon go to call in person. I am doing the same with the count of Soesson.
On hearing that the queen of England had left Paris with the Princess Henrietta, the duke of York set out to go off Cales and fetch her. The king is leaving to-morrow to meet his mother and next week it is believed they will all be back in the capital. In the duke's absence I have not been able to hear from his secretary about the titles.
With regard to the poll tax I have had the Act translated and enclose it for your Serenity's inspection, with the amounts to be paid and the rules prescribed. The people have accepted it generally and one hears of little objection, seeing it is a single payment and relieves them of further charge, and they are relieved of the burden of armaments which involved extraordinary yearly impositions. It is impossible to state the exact sum realised because all has not yet come in; but there is no doubt it will be more than a million sterling, as may be calculated by the amounts prescribed in the Act for all persons of title and other subjects who are beyond counting, as the country is most populous.
London, the 5th November, 1660.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.231. Poll Tax on all the people of the Realm. (fn. 2)
[Italian from the English.]
Nov. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
232. Alvise Grimani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The queen of England received the news of the duke of York's marriage before she left, she was extremely upset about it and it will hasten her journey. She was much moved at parting from the princess, for whom she cherishes no ordinary affection and who well deserves it for her virtue and beauty, and who fully returns it. It is thought that the offices of his mother, the prayers of his sister and the representations of the Ambassador Soesson may move King Charles to consent to a marriage which is so much desired by both sides; but some augur differently.
Paris, the 5th November, 1660.
[Italian.]
Nov. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
233. Alvise Molin, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
They are anxious to introduce correspondence with England through the Spanish ministers, since the present king has not informed the emperor of his restoration to the throne, wherefore the emperor has not informed him of his accession to the empire.
Vienna, the 6th November, 1660.
[Italian.]
Nov. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
234. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Last Saturday the king and all the Court set out coastwards to meet the queen mother with the princess Henrietta. They were expected in London yesterday evening but have not yet appeared because of the bad roads, which only allow of short stages, especially in this severe weather. But they are expected to-night and the royal palace of Whitehall is being prepared and the queen's apartment richly decorated to receive her. She landed safely after a smooth passage from Cales to Dover. In the absence of the king and Court absolutely nothing has been done this week at the palace, the secretariat and other offices being closed and business at a standstill, most of the ministers having gone with his Majesty and the rest having gone to their homes for a little respite.
They are still disbanding troops, two whole regiments being cashiered on Monday in this city, but it proceeds much more slowly than was expected as the poll tax money comes in very slowly, making a heavy public charge, as the longer they take in disbanding the troops the greater the sums due to them since they must be paid up to the moment of dismissal.
On Tuesday the Danish ambassador received word that the states of Denmark, in public assembly, had unanimously decided that the crown should henceforth pass by succession and not by election. He at once imparted the glad news to the foreign ministers. It is certainly of no little consequence, and will rejoice the friends of that crown and correspondingly depress its enemies, especially the Swedes, for though they are at peace with Denmark they do not like it to be prosperous. I made a courteous response to his Excellency's communication.
I have recently paid my respects to the count of Soesson and the baron di Batteville, who both thanked me courteously.
His Majesty having appointed bishops to fill up the vacant sees and confirmed others in the benefices they enjoyed before the troubles, they are steadily resuming authority in their dioceses. On Sunday five were consecrated in Westminster Abbey with the usual ceremonies, according to the rite of the Anglican Church. (fn. 3) As there are great disputes about this between Presbyterians and Episcopalians, a proclamation (fn. 4) has recently come out, prepared by the Council before the Court left, granting liberty of conscience to all these sectaries, until a synod is convoked, which they intend to summon soon, in which they will discuss and establish many points of religion which are now controversial. As nothing, either good or bad, is said about Roman Catholics in the proclamation, it seems that they also, as by connivance, will have the free exercise of their faith, without molestation, everyone hoping to experience the clemency of this king, which is much more favourable than that of his ancestors.
On Tuesday parliament will resume its sessions, and there will then be more material that I now have to supply.
London, the 12th November, 1660.
[Italian.]
Nov. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
235. To the Resident in England.
Your despatch No. 260 shows your application and keeps us supplied with full particulars. Your offices with the princess of Orange and prince Roberto were correct and timely. When the chancellor has recovered we are sure you will speak to him so as to secure his goodwill about the assistance on which the king has generously expressed such good intentions. We note your diligence over the levy and shall wait to see how the negotiations go, referring you to the instructions on the subject. You acted prudently in preventing Colonel de la Coste from going to Constantinople to serve the Turk. Thanks are due to the secretary of the duke of York for getting the necessary orders issued. You will watch the proceedings of this colonel and try to prevent his perfidious intentions, but with dexterity and within the bounds of possibility.
With foreign ambassadors extraordinary arriving at that Court ours will start in the spring and we have already asked for passports in Germany and Holland.
With regard to the two gondolas and boatmen for which the king has asked, we rejoice at this mark of confidence and we are taking steps to have them sent off directly. You may tell his Majesty this much.
That the Proveditori alle Rason Vecchie be directed to order the immediate building of two gondolas with their furniture, in decorous form, for the king of England, supplying an estimate of the cost and all other particulars they consider necessary, to the Collegio, to receive the requisite orders and to treat for the boatmen required, to which effect an extract from the letter of the Resident in London on the subject shall be sent to them for their enlightenment.
Ayes, 95. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Nov. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
236. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Their Majesties and all the Court reached London a week ago to-day. The queen was acclaimed with the utmost affection and joy, all the city bells being rung and bonfires lighted at every corner, the foreign ministers taking their part, my celebration costing 17l. sterling. On Saturday the queen rested to recover from the journey which, though short, proved fatiguing, at her advanced age, and in the severe weather. On Sunday evening she admitted the Ambassador Batteville to audience, and on Monday the ambassador extraordinary of Denmark and myself later. Presenting the letters of credence of the 23rd July, I referred suitably to the king's restoration, her own arrival and offered condolences for the duke of Gloucester. The queen replied graciously, warmly thanking your Serenity. I then took the opportunity to speak of the calamity of the long war your Excellencies are sustaining against the Turk, begging her to influence her son to contribute some assistance. She replied that the glory of the republic in the present war was eternal and she hoped one day to see it freed. She promised to use all her influence with her son; so I thanked her and took leave. I shall try to cultivate her inclination and see that it brings forth fruit.
On Wednesday I had private audience of the king, introduced by Henry Howard, brother of the mad earl of Arundel now living at Padua, who does all in his power to serve your Serenity. After congratulating the king on the arrival of his mother I went on to fulfil the instructions of the 2nd October, thanking him for his letter and expressing the hope that the Senate would see deeds corresponding to his generous expressions. His Majesty replied that he had the most fervent desire to help the republic and would certainly do something for her. Domestic affairs had so far prevented him from considering the memorial I gave him, but soon he would attend to it. I reflected on what the secretary of state told me that when parliament met they might consider the question, and if it came before them it would be held up and never an end, because of the passions and disputes excited, and with the affair made public the merchants would at once oppose, especially the Turkey Company, when the question is one to be treated in secret among confidants. So I thought it well to sound if this really was the king's intention to let parliament decide, or if it came only from the secretary of state. I informed his Majesty of what the secretary had said to me, remarking that it would be a long way to decide an affair so pressing, which required despatch. He answered me in these precise terms: he knew that if the matter came before parliament it would never be properly settled, for he knew it was as Turk as the Turk himself. He would speak with some of his most confidential advisers and he would decide without parliament. I will keep the question alive and try to get something done to the advantage of the Senate.
After thanking the king warmly I told him of the decision of the Senate to show its respect by appointing two ambassadors extraordinary, and proposing at the same time to send an ordinary, believing that his Majesty would respond in similar fashion. The king expressed his appreciation and said that he also would be ready to send an ordinary to Venice to continue the friendly relations which he always wished to maintain with the republic. There is no doubt of this because they will certainly send ambassadors in ordinary to Spain, to respond to the baron di Batteville, and to France, in exchange for M. d' Estrade, appointed by the Most Christian to the ordinary embassy here and expected soon. But they have not chosen any one yet for any crown, because there is no abundance of money. For this reason they have not yet ordered the king's household or attended to many other necessary incidents. The reason for the despatch of the earl of Winchelsea to Constantinople was that he himself wished it, and the king does not contribute a sou to the embassy, all the costs being borne by the Levant Company.
I now pass to what I have arranged with the duke of York about titles. As your Serenity does not give the title of “Royal Highness” to the brothers of the emperor or of the Most Christian, he abandons that claim. With regard to the title given to your Serenity, I showed him what the king and prince Henry had always done. He said times were changed and he would write to France to find out what Anjou did. I remarked that if the king, his brother, gave the republic the title of “most Serene”, he might do the same without seeking examples elsewhere. Finally it was arranged that he should write to your Serenity in Latin, using the same titles as the king. His secretary Coventry told me this the day before yesterday, rejoicing that this question was settled satisfactorily to both parties.
Although parliament resumed its sittings on Tuesday it has not yet done anything of consequence. It has merely voted a gift of 10,000l. sterling to the Princess Henrietta, of whose marriage with the duke of Anjou nothing can yet be definitely stated. It is said that the count of Soesson, who after performing the duties of his mission will be returning to the Most Christian Court, so they say, will first ask the king for his sister. If this is so it can only be because the French are sure of her, or they would never ask, and that this is rather a formality than a necessity. I will observe carefully and keep the Senate informed.
The four ambassadors extraordinary of Holland (fn. 5) made their public entry into London on Tuesday after dinner, and they have had their first audience to-day. As they informed me of their arrival I have observed the usual courtesies.
London, the 19th November, 1660.
[Italian.]
Nov. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
237. Giacomo Quirini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Don Luis spoke to me at length about the unbecoming marriage of the duke of York. He told me how deeply incensed the king, his brother, was. It was feared that the chancellor had a hand in the matter; that the queen was the declared enemy of that minister. Some disorder was to be feared in that kingdom because of the numerous interests and the diversity and multiplicity of sects. Moreover the king opposes the marriage of the duke of Anjou to his sister; that the duke had himself confided to him, Don Luis, at the conference, that whatever happened he would take her, and he would take the repulse in very ill part, although any trifle is sufficient to divert the attention of young princes. He added many other particulars.
Madrid, the 19th November, 1660.
[Italian.]
Nov. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
238. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Nothing of consequence has yet occurred in the resumed sittings of parliament. Their special aim is the complete disbanding of the army and the disarming of the fleet, to relieve the crown of the heavy burden of their maintenance. They have caused the officials charged with this task to give an account of what they have done during the interval of parliament. Finding that their orders were left unfulfilled chiefly from lack of money they immediately applied themselves to find fresh cash for the purpose, which absorbs immense and incredible sums. They are therefore discussing a tax, which will soon be ripe, of 70,000l. sterling a month for six weeks, and as much of the poll tax is still unpaid, they are preparing stringent orders, threatening with severe penalties those who show an unwillingness to submit.
Besides this parliament has set up a committee of criminal justice against the regicides who gave themselves up and claim indulgence under the Act of Indemnity. It is expected that this point will soon be settled, and in the general opinion they also will suffer the extreme penalty like the others whose guilt they shared, so it is only reasonable that they should share the punishment.
Scarcely has the queen arrived in England than they talk of her returning to France. It is stated that the question of a marriage between the Princess Henrietta and the duke of Anjou is going well, and merely to celebrate these nuptials, which she seems to desire intensely, she is going to Paris, and will return in the spring to stay.
The count of Soesson had his audience for leave on Monday and on Wednesday he started back for the French Court. He previously gave a banquet at his house to the king, the duke of York and other grandees, with great splendour to match that of the prince of Ligne. No one can discover if he asked his Majesty for the princess in the name of the duke of Anjou. He certainly saw the queen privately several times, and there can be no doubt that all their conversation turned upon this marriage, which is certainly in active negotiation. But everything is being kept quiet until all the necessary arrangements are made for the dower and other matters which must come first and are not of easy digestion. Before leaving the count called here on Sunday after dinner, when we exchanged compliments.
The four Dutch ambassadors extraordinary having had their first audience a week ago, went on Wednesday to a private one, when they offered the king presents in the name of their masters. These consisted of a service of plate of all sorts of solid gold, a bed with baldachino, chairs, (fn. 6) and other appurtenances to furnish an apartment, of cramoisy velvet, all furnished with gold embroidery, worth many thousands of pounds sterling; many excellent statues and a collection of pictures by famous painters, ancient and modern. The king appreciated them highly, especially the pictures and statues in which he takes extreme delight. It seems that these ambassadors will be staying some time as besides their office of congratulation they have instructions to arrange some treaty, for which commissioners will be deputed to treat with them. I saw them on Tuesday and performed the usual courtesies, to which they responded. Yesterday three of them called here to return my visit.
Besides the ambassador in ordinary of France, who is expected at Court in a few days, other extraordinary ones will arrive in the next few months from Poland, Sweden, Savoy and Florence. We hear that all these Courts have appointed wealthy persons of rank who can perform the duty with splendour.
London, the 26th November, 1660.
[Italian.]
Nov. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
239. Alvise Grimani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The queen of England writes of her arrival in London and affirms her good disposition for the marriage not only of Monsieur to the Princess Henrietta but for that of the Cardinal's niece to King Charles, with assurances that she will advocate both warmly.
Paris, the 26th November, 1660.
[Italian.]
Nov. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
240. To the Resident in England.
Acknowledge receipt of his letters of the 5th ult. Approve of his operations. It has been decided to send to the deputies for the provision of money the papers which have arrived from London upon the poll tax which is used in England, so that they may consider how far they think it would be practicable for the service of the republic.
Ayes, 87. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Nov. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
241. Alvise Molin, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
Relates a long conversation with the Count di Portia on the Sunday preceding. He went on to say that they would initiate confidence with England immediately they had the assurance that the king there had sent word to the other powers of his restoration to the throne. They thought that he had not done so, and immediately they were sure of it they would proceed here to make the proper demonstrations, with the additional object of urging that king to assist your Serenity by sea, as it was desired to give their attention as much to an important diversion by sea as to vigorous operations on land.
Vienna, the 27th November, 1660.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 The Plymouth frigate was assigned to the earl for his journey. S.P. For. Archives (Levant Co. Court Book) Vol. 152, f. 3. She was a ship of 988 tons, 54 guns, built in 1653. Oppenheim: Administration of the Royal Navy, page 334.
2 12 Chas. II, cap. ix. An Act for the speedy provision of money for disbanding and payment of the land and sea forces. Statutes of the Realm Vol. v, page 307.
3 They were Gilbert Sheldon, bishop of London; Dr. Humphrey Henchman, bishop of Salisbury; George Morley, bishop of Worcester; Robert Sanderson, bishop of Lincoln and George Griffith, bishop of St. Asaph. Parliamentary Intelligencer Oct. 22–29. See Pepys: Diary. Vol. i, page 269.
4 On 25 October, o.s. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1660–1, page 321.
5 The Sieurs Van Beverwaart, Van Hoorn, Van Goch and Ripperda Van Fernsum. They left for London on 29 October and reached Gravesend on 1 November. Le Clerc: Hist. des Provinces Unies Vol. iii, page 9. They were appointed on 22 October. Aitzema: Saken van Stuet en Oorlogh Vol. iv, page 605.
6 Codreghe. According to the Mercurius Publicus (Nov. 8–15) the present consisted of a crimson embroidered velvet bed, cloth of state, chairs and stools to match.